Elizabeth: May 1582, 1-10

Pages 1-19

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 16, May-December 1582. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1909.

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May 1582, 1–10

May 1. 1. Horatio Pailavicino to Lawrence Tomson.
I see no objection to leaving the warrant in its present form, and dating it the day her Majesty signs it; and the same with the obligations, in which the day of signature does not matter at all, provided it be before the last day of December next. As for last year, for the interest, on which her Majesty owes 394l. 17s. ld., it seems to me that the shortest way will be to make out a special warrant with the Queen's order for the prompt payment of that sum, declaring on what it arises. I think it might be done in this way, but refer to your better judgement, since you know more about that than any member of the Council whatever. If you approve, or however else you decide, please get them written quickly, that they may be laid before her Majesty this week.—From my house, 1 May 1582.
Add. Endd. Ital. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XVI. 1.]
May 1. 2. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
You sent me lately a little packet from the Queen of Scots, and a letter which she wrote me solely to thank the Queen her good sister for having granted her the principal points of her requests in the memorial handed to Mr Beale. She also begs me very,earnestly to thank you from her for your kind and favourable intercession to her Majesty; whose good sister the queen tells me she wishes to be, and make herself in future so agreeable in all her actions that she will never have any dissatisfaction. The letter contains nothing but politenesses and many thanks, with a request that she may at once have the doctors to attend to her health; and soon afterwards, say a month from now, permission to go to the Baths of Buxton, in which she says she has placed her last hope of preservation.
Meanwhile I have sent in search of M. du Ruisseau, one of her counsellors, that he may go to her, on the hope you gave me that no difficulty would be made about his passing. In respect of sending M. Nau to Scotland, and with him, if possible, Mr Beale, to treat there equally of the matter in question, she will await any decision which the Queen may take thereon. On this point I would tell you that the last time I spoke to her Majesty about the Queen of Scots, she gave me on all matters a better and more favourable reply than she had ever done; and I feel sure that if she is encouraged by you in this good opinion the Queen of Scots may be assured of her good graces. I shall be able to answer her tomorrow, and will send you the packet, if you will kindly send me by this bearer the names of the doctors, and if they can set out within three or four days, as the queen desires, so as to employ all the month of May on her health.—London, 1 May 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 p. [France VII. 66.]
May 1. 3.—to the Queen.
That which is the part of a faithful subject to let your Majesty know whatever may be profitable to yourself and your realm, I thought I must not neglect. During these two years then in which I have been about the French king's Court, on terms of friendship and intimacy with his ministers, I have noticed that this queen receives frequent information from Piero Capponi, a Florentine, on matters relating not only to the government of your kingdom, but to yourself. Capponi is very familiar with the queen, so that gifts often pass on both sides; and so it happens that not only all business, but your secret counsels are disclosed, and things are handled, which if care be not taken, may bring some very great hazard to you. This I learnt from a friend of mine, whose business it is to decipher letters. I beg that you will take this my care in good part, and not be surprised that this time I have not used the English language, nor signed my name; for if anything ever got out I could stay no longer in these parts without great risk to my life. Meanwhile, see that the little token (symbolum) I send is carefully preserved; so that when I soon return and bring its counterpart, you may know me by it, and understand that I am one who is most anxious for your safety and the freedom from harm of the whole realm.—Paris, 1 May 1582.
Add. in Italian. Lat. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 67.]
May 3. 4. Cobham to Walsingham.
Since my last the king is gone to Fontainebleau, there to remain with his Court. On the 28th ult. he received there the queen his mother with his sister the Queen of Navarre, meeting them on horseback more than half a league from his house with but a small train. After the kindly and princely receiving of one another, they entered into one coach, and the Queen of Navarre after she had 'accomplished her own dutiful manner' to the king at the first meeting, offered then to reach at his hand to kiss it on behalf of her husband. But the king would not suffer her, saying such kind of ceremonies were impertinent to be used between them; adding that he desired greatly to see the King of Navarre, as one he loved with all his heart. After this had passed, they went towards Fontainebleau, where in the palace the young queen met them, receiving them with many welcomes. Notwithstanding this courteous beginning it is noticed the king's proceeding towards his sister is performed but with a heavy and sad countenance.
The Queen Mother, and especially the Queen of Navarre, have delivered many singular commendations of the King of Navarre, which are accompanied by the voices of most of the servants attending the Queen of Navarre. He has, as I am informed, departed from about Rochelle and Saint-Jean-d'Angeli towards 'Aques' Chaudes in Béarn, intending to 'render' himself again at Saint-Jean about the end of this month, to be present at the assembly which is to be held for the reformed Churches of this realm.
I have heard of a bill fastened on the Duke of Épernon's door in the Louvre before the late removal of the Court, on which was written:
Garde-toi, glorieux; car tu seras ung matin malheureux:
Car pour toujours trop entreprendre, nous te ferons quelque jour pendre
which is imputed to have been done by some of the Guises.
The king has sent President Révol to the Marquisate of Saluces to confer with the captains, and by enquiry to discover if there were any secret practices for the surprising of any of those towns, or any means used to trouble that province. After performing this, the President is to go to the Duke of Savoy to be the king's agent in that Court; as also to discern the duke's meaning and the occasions of his levies.
The Duke of Mantua has sent to this Court the Captain of Alba. He passed by the Duke of Savoy doing compliments from the Duke his master, whereon it is supposed those dukes are of better accord than has lately been written from those parts. These reports of their disagreement served for the disguising of the Duke of Savoy's levies for the surprise of Geneva; which 'is written to be' discovered, and certain conspirators taken in the town, in such sort that those of Berne perceiving the approach of the Duke of Savoy's forces have sent into Geneva sufficient supply from their Canton to defend the town, and have also put themselves in arms, if further occasions should be offered by the duke.
Last week the Duke of Savoy sent a courier to his ambassador with a dispatch; on which the ambassador demanding audience of the king was deferred, but at length obtained. The king 'showed to be' displeased, in respect he has some association with those of Geneva, and has not as yet answered the duke's letter in writing. How for this respect and favourable manner of the king's in behalf of those of Geneva is meant, the Jesuits may best guess.
The king is sending M. d'Escars to the King of Navarre to persuade him to repair to this Court; but he is known to the King of Navarre to have been one who abused his father, and is a dissuader of foreign wars, a favourer of the Spanish faction, being a notorious corrupted Frenchman. Therefore it is hoped he will little prevail in his affairs that way.
The Queen of Navarre, at the instance of her husband, has since her coming to Court procured two dispatches for the hastening of the Count of Brissac and M. Strozzi to leave the French coast on their voyage towards the islands; because they of the Religion seem to be in great pain and the Rochellers constrained to be at great charge, standing daily upon their guard.
They certify from Nantes that there are arrived from the Terceras three ships laden with goods to the value of 100,000 crowns. They expect daily the return of the ships which transported the Count of Torres vedras, in which there is merchandise of much worth belonging to Don Antonio. They write also from Nantes that the English ships are arrived about Belle Isle conducted by Diego de 'Botielo.'
From Bordeaux it is written that the ships that are there will now be in readiness. And I hear the king has of late sent a commission to young Lansac to go with this prepared 'army' for Don Antonio's affairs; whose company will not much please many, because he is held suspected.
The king sends hence M. de Lavalette, governor of Saluces.
It is understood that Mme de Duras 'had that scornful part' of the glass of ink broken on her face, done to her by the procurement of Clermont d'Amboise. This bad deed, 'is sought to be revenged' by the King of Navarre and the Duke of Épernon, for the affection he bears to the Queen of Navarre.
It is advertised by the last letters from Italy that soldiers are now openly levied at the sound of the drum in the Duchy of Milan; some write, to the number of 12,000 and 10,000, some of 8,000.
I am given to understand the Duke of Maine intends to go to Italy under pretence of accomplishing his vow to Nostra Donna di Loreto, and also to visit his uncle the Duke of Ferrara, as one discontented and melancholy disposed. Howbeit, it is known he has in his purse to cheer himself 300,000 crowns, of which he received 180,000 for land sold in Savoy of his wife, who is descended from a bastard of Savoy. And now he has for his office of the Admiralty of France 120,000 crowns, which amounts to 300,000 in all. The office of Admiral is bestowed on Duke Joyeuse.
The king and young queen intend at once to begin and continue their diet at Fontainebleau.
I hear from Venice that a gentleman has arrived from the Duke of Brabant. He was well received by the Signiory and returned with letters from that state, presented with a chain of 400 crowns.
Soranzo, lately sent ambassador to Rome, is returned to Venice without obtaining any reason at the Pope's hands concerning the Signiors' request against the Patriarch of Aquileia.—Paris, 3 May 1582.
Add. Endd. 7 pp. [France VII. 68.]
May 4. 5. Masino Del Bene to Walsingham.
The Queen Mother has arrived at Court; it is not yet known what has been decided in the matter of his Highness. By a certain person of quality good hopes have been given me; but I am slow to believe it. When I have any certain news I will impart it to you. Geneva has been in great danger; and the reason is that at a place called Ripaillo, whither Amadeus, Count of Savoy, once retired to live the life of a hermit with 8 or 10 of his intimates, there have gradually assembled 700 to 800 men, under the command of that Anselme, in order that from that place, which is only three or four leagues from Geneva, they might be brought to a farmhouse very near, belonging to one with whom they had intelligence arranged to that end, and thence get possession of a gate and subsequently of the city. From this danger one of Anselm's soldiers, of the Religion, freed them by giving them notice of it. General information of it had been given them more than six weeks ago by one who has himself more than once attempted what the Duke of Savoy was attempting. Those of Bern, Freiburg, and Solothurn have taken up arms, and have put good garrisons into the city and occupied the passages by which these people can withdraw into Savoy, in order to play them a practical joke (mal ischerzo). It is also thought certain that the Bernese will take this occasion to reoccupy the bailiwicks they had surrendered, a little carelessly, to the Duke of Savoy, he having broken the conventions under which they surrendered them. Even here we ought to resent it, the city in question being under our protection. At least I know well that the garrison will be paid at Qur cost, from the moneys deposited at the time when we took the protection jointly with the three cantons. If this young prince will remember how much it cost his grandfather to let himself be lightly drawn into undertakings, he would perhaps be more considerate; but for myself I think that this was a priests' scheme (? pratica di padre).
I shall set out in a few days for the Low Countries, having been given to understand from Chenonceaux that I was to hold myself in readiness to take that journey. I much desire to do it, and especially to cross thence to your country, to pay my respects to the Queen and revisit my patrons, among whom you will ever hold the first place.—Paris, 4 May 1582.
Add. Endd. Ital.pp. [France VII. 68 bis.]
May 4. 6. “The 4th of May, 1582.—The confession of John Asson, mariner, who went as a sailor in the ship named the Emanuel of London, on the last voyage that she made to San Lucar in Spain.”
The name of the master of the ship is John Alday of Harwich; the principal merchant on board her is named John Hawes of London, to whom part of the vessel belongs.
John Asson says that according to his recollection, about the beginning of November last, they being about 8 leagues south and by west of Cape St. Vincent, early in the morning, the weather being hazy, they discovered a ship boarding a caravel, being right ahead of them as they were sailing. Whereupon the master, seeing that the vessel was a man-of-war (home de guerre) made ready for action, and shaped his course straight for them. On coming near he began to make out the ship, and saw that she was French and the caravel Portuguese. The ship of war had then taken the caravel, and put men on board.
When the Frenchman saw that the Emanuel wanted to speak to the prize, the ship of war went to windward of her (alouf d'elle); and when the Emanuel came up to the prize, the master ordered him to lower sail. The Frenchman replied that he would do nothing of the sort; whereupon she fired a gun, and struck him, and then they let the sheets go, but the sails could not come down, because they were entangled with the rigging.
And while the Emanuel was close alongside the caravel, speaking to them, the ship of war luffed up close to them, and offered to lay the prize aboard. Whereupon the master of the Emanuel ordered a gun to be fired at her, and she in like manner fired three or four guns at the Emanuel, and then the Emanuel fired one or two more at her, and on that the ship of war fell away from her (alla alarga d'elle).
Then the master of the Emanuel ordered his small skiff to be got out, and put into her two men, one of whom was the deponent, John Asson, and the other Francis (name blank), sent them to the prize, to find the master and captain [sie], that he might speak to them.
When the skiff reached the caravel, seven Frenchmen got into her, and pushed the skiff off, and as the two Englishmen wanted to row them on board the Emanuel the Frenchmen against their will took the oars from them, and rowed (rogared) the skiff aboard the ship of war, and forced the two Englishmen against their will to go on board their ship; and after the skiff had remained there about three quarters of an hour, for the captain to write his letter to the master, he sent the letter by seven of his men in the skiff aboard the Emanuel, keeping the two Englisnmen on board his own ship.
When the copy was shown to the master and merchants of the Emanuel, they thought it was a trick. Nevertheless seeing that they mentioned the name of Monsieur, they would have been content to let him have the caravel, had they not had two Spaniards on board. These Spaniards were taken by the Turks at La Goletta, and had served long in captivity. By chance they were in Media, near Derbend in October 1580, at which time our English ship in the service of the company of English merchants for the discovery of our new trade, was near that place, in the Caspian Sea. These two Spaniards our English sailors received secretly on board their ship, out of zeal for Christendom, and as a work of charity, and brought them thence hither to London, and here they were set at liberty last September. They were then on their return homewards, going as passengers on board the Emanuel; and seeing that they were bound for San Lucar and had these Spaniards on board, who on their arrival there would not fail to publish what they knew and had seen, they thought that if they abandoned the caravel they would be arrested in Spain, and regarded as pirates or at least accessory to piracy, to the danger of their lives and loss of their ship and goods. Therefore they answered the Frenchmen that they would set the caravel free, not wishing to be bothered any further with them; and with this answer he sent the skiff on board the ship of war to the captain, and required (requirid) him to send back the two Englishmen whom he had on board his ship.
When the captain of the ship of war heard this answer, he sent back John Asson in the skiff with seven of his own men aboard the Emanuel and kept the other, and ordered those in the skiff to bring two of the prize crew that he had left in the prize, one of whom was wounded in the thigh by a cannon-shot.
When the master of the Emanuel saw that they had kept one of his men, he began to get angry (monter colère), and said that they were to fetch him back at once, and if they did not, he would go and seek him at their expense. The skiff accordingly took with her the two Frenchmen out of the prize, and carried them on board the ship, and then the captain sent the other Englishman to the Emanuel.
Then the master of the Emanuel sent the Frenchmen in his skiff aboard their ship, and so many Portuguese out of the caravel as might serve to bring the skiff back to their ship. This being done, and the Portuguese put back aboard their caravel, with a little victuals given them by the Emanuel for their nourishment, then the Emanuel and the caravel shaped their course towards the land, and went in company till they were over against Villa Nova, where (où ce que) the caravel anchored; and being in safety there the Portuguese offered to give them half their cargo of sugar for having assisted them, confessing that they were obliged to them for having been so happily delivered from the danger to their lives, goods, and ship, and that further they were bound to pray for them all their lives.
But the master, merchants, and ship's company refused their gift, and were content to receive from them of their courtesy two cases only of Brazilian sugar in powder, and one genushe (?); and therewith they had also an attestation written by the Portuguese as testimony hereof.
Thus the Emanuel left her in safety in the roads over against Villa Nova and proceeded on her voyage to San Lucar, where this job (œurre) soon became known to the duke and people of the town and country around by means of the two Spanish passengers, and was also testified to by letters from Villa Nova and Ayamonte, written by one Mr Holland, an Englishman, and others to the duke; for which cause the master and crew of the Emanuel had great favour in the place. This is all I can say in this affair. “By W.R.”
Endd. Fr. (all but last words in inverted commas) hut clearly written by an Englishman. In hand of (?) E. Burnham. 3 pp. [Spain I. 90.]
May 5. 7. Mendoza to the Earl Of Sussex.
It is many months since the Judge of the Admiralty came and asked me in her Majesty's name to hand him the papers which I had touching the robberies of Francis Drake. I did so; and it will be months since Secretary Walsingham told me that an answer would be given me upon that which I was expecting, and a month since he sent to me finally to say that although the answer had been made out the Queen had seen it, and wanted to look into the matter, and that I should have a little patience and the Queen would give it me. I beg you to do me the favour of signifying this to the Queen, and letting me know when she will be pleased to give me this answer, and an audience to hear it, that I may advise the king my master of its nature.—London, 5 May 1582.
Add. Endd. by one of Walsingham's secretaries. Span. 1 p. [Spain I. 91.]
May 5. 8. English translation of the above, wrongly dated 'first of May.'
Endd. ½ pp. [Ibid. I. 92.]
May 5. 9. Fremyn to Walsingham.
I wrote last on the 29th ult. What has happened in these parts is that the Princess of Orange deceased yesterday at 4 a.m., having been ill for eight days of a continued fever and double pleurisy. His Excellency and all his house are in deep distress; nevertheless the Prince bears all his emotions patiently, praising God for all His visitations. For the last year he has had a lot of hindrances in the negotiation of these countries with Monsieur. He has lost Breda. The danger he has been in from his wound—the death of his wife. She died calling on the Lord to her last breath, with such fervour as it would be long to tell. All the foreigners here feel it much, for she was a kind mother to them. Well, God be praised for all, and keep his Excellency in prosperity, for this country has more need of him than ever.
His Highness has been infinitely grieved by this death. He is in good health and prospering; and would like to see a good army in the field, to show a square front (faire contrecarre) to the enemy, who remains before Oudenarde, where he has brought up his artillery, but has made no battery up to now. It is presumed that he has some other scheme. M. de la Garde's regiment has been moved out of Bergues to go to Ninove. Some Flemings and Scotch are going into Bergues.
The Count of la Rochefoucault left this town for France only yesterday; he is going to levy forces for the army. Affairs are still going on very slowly, and it seems that the States have at present no intention of putting the moyens généraulx, subsidies or imports, into his Highness's hands; but just 300,000 guilders a month for carrying on the war, by equal instalments. An infinity of disorders will come about for lack of payment of the soldiers.
They do nothing but give fresh commissions to levy men, without paying those who are serving. Mr North and Mr Cotton are not yet dispatched. They are about asking for quarters where they can collect their people, which have not yet been granted them. There will be some difficulty in getting them.
Colonel Stewart having a difference with some of his captains before his Highness, when they had produced their complaints, his Highness had granted them as commissioners to hear the controversy and remedy it. At the same time Colonel Stewart, being accompanied, gave several blows with a stick to one of the captains, called 'Sepens' [Spence], in the street, he being alone. This has offended his Highness, seeing the violation of justice, and the contempt of himself and his councillors on the part of Stuart. He has been put under arrest, and has been in his own house for a week, and much in disgrace (en peine) for that.
M. de Villesaison started yesterday to find the Prince of Condé, who is to come here. Instead of being sued after, it seems that he is the suitor; and if he would consider, expense on expense, bad economy, has been the ruin of the nobles of the Religion in France. There has always been a search for the means to render them poor and miserable, that they might have no resources before them. Which ought to serve as an example to those who are left, for their preservation.—Antwerp, 5 May 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVI. 4.]
May 5. 10. [Walsingham] to Gilpin.
I perceive by your letter of the 28th [sic] ult. that the States continue still feeding us with dilatory answer, greatly to her Majesty's dishonour and discontent; and therefore I see it necessary for us here to proceed to an arrest which will make the town of Antwerp deal more effectually with the united provinces. I have signified as much in effect to Mr Junius, as may appear by the enclosed copy of the letter which I sent him. You may also let all such of the town as have any traffic into these parts understand as much; for that they see no execution follow of our threatenings, makes them have us the more in contempt, but when they see us take another course, they will be more careful, I doubt not, to yield contentment. I find that unless we can bring the town of Antwerp to take upon them to see her Majesty satisfied, though the sums long since due be paid, we shall find the like trouble in the recovery of what will be due hereafter. It seems to me that if the town of Antwerp would have that care it were fit for them to have, they might in the general contributions of the united provinces so provide for themselves that they might be satisfied out of such sums as are taxed upon the rest of the provinces towards the payment of the interest. In case you have not proceeded to protestation as by my last letters you were directed, you will do well to forbear it (unless you see cause to think it may work good effect); for I doubt it will but little prevail, as we have found by former experience in the prosecution of this cause. Because I know it is very hard to prescribe here what is fit to be done there, I leave you to your own direction to take such course as you think best to further her Majesty's service in this behalf.
M. Rossel, by the last letter I received from him, finds himself grieved that there has been no consideration had of his service; wherein for my own part I have been willing to do what I might tor him, but the time is hard, and her Majesty is many ways put to great charges, and therefore we that serve about her cannot procure that consideration of men's services that we desire. Some liberality I have used towards him of my own, and mean to do hereafter, because I would be loath that he should think me unthankful; but that, as I find by his letters, does not content him. Yet, to say the truth, I never received any advertisement from him that deserved any extraordinary consideration: yet I find he makes another price of his wares. When you see him, I pray if he enter into [Ends here].
Draft. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVI. 5.]
May 5. 11. Don Antonio to Walsingham.
Although you will not write to me, I would refresh your memory of me, only to assure you of my good affection towards you, and because although my affairs are not going in this country as I expected, that will be no reason for passing over anything wherein I can do you so much pleasure as may be in my power, on account both of your personal merits, and of my word given you in this respect. Antonio de Vega will tell you the position of my affairs, and will speak of the other matters which concern my interests. Please give him credit and assistance; I will requite it when I have a chance.—Tours, 5 May. (Signed) Rey.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Ital. 1 p. [Portugal I. 77.]
May 6. 12. Gilpin to Lawrence Tomson.
I have talked with Mr Longolius concerning her Majesty's cause, 'how far therein was proceeded,' and would according to command have left the fullest instructions I could for his better direction, if upon the 'prolonging' of the Diet in Germany I had not stayed 'till the certain day known.' Wherefore during my abode here, he requested me to continue my accustomed endeavours. To this I agreed, till his honour's pleasure further known, as signified in my last.
This week I brought Reynold Copcott to Vander Werke the pensionary of this town, to know when and where, according to his last promise, the money for 'their part of the town' should be paid; to which he made me answer contrary to his former, and to my expectation, being thus:
That for the half year the money was ready, and for the other half should be in like readiness within 10 or 12 days. He added that he hoped when they of this town should pay 5,000 or 6,000 guilders for their part of the whole year, it would suffice. But I said it came to at least 8,000 and odd guilders. Whereto he replied that Guelderland and Friesland with all the other united provinces paying their parts, it would come to less. These speeches, being directly 'from' the other, and the agreement passed last July at the Hague, provoked me to say that it would not be well taken; that a new delay was devised, and 'would' find the inconvenience of it very shortly, her Majesty accounting fully to have assurance for the yearly contentment from this town, as I had often declared. And therefore it were best they should procure the obtaining from the States-General the best means they could for their indemnity, before the departure of States, who are ready to break up, putting all other matters aside till their next meeting; and as I hear, will then determine for her Majesty's satisfaction.
Vander Werke promised me he would impart what I told him to the magistrates, and within a few days I should receive full resolution in writing.
Those of Flanders give fair words, but no deeds follow. Zealand is ready, as they say, to do as the rest. They of Holland cannot get on the bourse here £1,000 on their credit, and therefore desired me to see what I could do, or else were contented to pay the money at Dort, upon sight of the bills of exchange which they offered me. But because I found it not reasonable to abide the venture of the money hither, passage being dangerous, I desired them to take some other order; which Paul Buys assured me he would, with such care that he doubted not her Majesty would like their readiness. Thus you hear how matters pass; and to write plainly, I doubt all are but delays, and therefore look for no resolution, unless there be another course taken, which I refer to his honour's judgement. I assure you there neither has nor shall want any diligence on my part; and I was loath to be troublesome with this advice.
At the Diet at Augsburg there will be a great assembly of the princes and nobles of Germany, especially bishops and priests, and some great matter will fall out, and at least be talked of, concerning religion. The Jesuits increase in those parts marvellously, and are supported by the Emperor and all his favourers, building churches and schools wherever they can 'get in foot.'
For our common news, you may by the enclosed note understand all that I can learn.—Antwerp, 6 May 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 ½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVI. 6.]
May 6. 13. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
This bearer, Mr Laurence Feron, a Frenchman whom I have always known for an honest man, naturalised in this country, and esteemed as it seems to me by all honest men, brought me yesterday your messages (recommendations) for which I thank you much. As he told me that he was going back to you, I thought good to send you this line, and by the same opportunity to commend him to you according to his good right, and the favour and justice which he hopes to have from you. I have also charged him with a packet for the Queen of Scots, and with two small ones which reached me yesterday from M. du Verger. I have been told that there are also others from her ambassador; if they come, I will send them to you. Meanwhile the Queen your mistress has, on the last two occasions when I went to her, made much show of wishing to do her all good offices as to a relative. She told me that the doctors were ready to start. Please send me word how that is, for the Queen of Scots has at the present time no hope save in her Majesty's kindness, and that you on your part will do her all good offices in things reasonable, which is all I will say about it at this moment.
Affectionate regards from MM. de Marchaumont and Baqueville, and from my wife, who is at Paris, whither she has taken our son, in the hope of finding there the English tutor named Nicolson, whom we chose four years ago to instruct our son, both on account of the difference of language, and because we knew him for an honest man, and brought up in France. But two days ago he was taken prisoner when presenting your letter. I beg you to aid with your favour in getting him discharged.—London, 6 May 1582.
P.S.—We have all drunk to your bonne grace and to your wife, whose hands we humbly kiss, and we beg you once more to do something for this bearer.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [France VII. 69.]
May 6. 14. Stokes to Walsingham.
My last was the 29th ult. This week few speeches only have passed.
The enemy lies still before Oudenarde, where it seems they are resolved to continue till they have the town, unless they be driven perforce from thence, or else must depart for want of victuals and forage, both of which, by good advice, are very scant and dear in their camp.
The enemy have also brought certain field-pieces to their camp, and it is said 16 cannons are coming thither, and that their meaning is to make a battery to it. But it is thought these are but speeches, for they cannot come to it but at one side of the town, for all the rest lies under water without.
This week letters came from Oudenarde to the magistrates of Ghent, in which they wrote they were of good courage, and feared not the enemy, and that they have victuals and munitions enough for these six months, and they daily issue out and make stout skirmishes.
The speech goes here that the camp which the Duke of Brabant is preparing, and which is already planted between Ghent and Oudenarde, will be about 10,000 men in all, with the English that are coming out of Friesland; and when they are all together, it is hoped there will be some good piece of service done.
By good advice out of the enemy's camp, the Prince of Parma continues still in great rages for the loss of Alost; and for a simple revenge he has commanded to kill all the poor peasants about Alost, because they gave no advice of 'their' coming; so the peasants are with great cruelty slain, as many as they can take.
The enemy has also taken the castle of Gasbecque, 'per finesse' in the night. It belongs to the Count of Egmont, and lies within two leagues of Brussels. It is strong and will very much trouble Brussels, Ninove, and Alost very sore [sic] for it stands in the midst of them all. The States took this castle from the enemy by surprise the very day that Tournay was lost.
This week the soldiers at Corttrick, for want of their wages, have sacked the burghers of the town; which is a shrewd example to all soldiers to do the like in other towns.
Those of Cambray and Cambrésis make great wars against the enemy in those parts; in such sort that they trouble them more than in any other place.—Bruges, 6 May 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVI. 7.]
May 7. 15. Rossel to Walsingham.
By yours of the 28th I recognise the little recompense that I can expect for having served four years in correspondence with you, in her Majesty's name. Which I thought was in conformity with the verbal promises of yourself and Lord Cobham on your embassy, confirmed by many of your letters which I have by me. Now I see how little her Majesty makes of my services and my advices; which nevertheless are such as to say the truth, none else, not even the great pensioners at 400 crowns, Villiers and others, could have done better offices than I, or services to the realm; and whereby I have rendered myself suspected of having English sympathies, which loses me the promotion I hoped for. I have neglected to continue my duties, which have therefore been suspended, awaiting the promises (on your letter of credence) of Mr Greville. I would not have served under her Majesty's name (?), nay, in familiar correspondence between us two, with no hope of benefit from anyone. I have performed the like office in past days among princes as a friend, without putting myself into subjection as I have done to my great harm and ruin. Henceforward I shall be pleased to do you service as an individual, to have your thanks, and hope for nothing else.
Our constitution is settled in tolerable order. The States are departed, and have put it and the disposition of affairs in his [sic] charge, even to the point of leaving the moyens généraulx at his disposal, managed however under three members of the Council, with two elected to the Finances to restore the fitting order.
The position of the war is this: The enemy is entrenched before Oudenarde, and encamped these 17 days past. Some boats from Tournay have brought some artillery, which is not yet disembarked. At Meenen in a sortie they found two boats going to the war loaded with balls and powder for the battery against Oudenarde. These they sank in the river and entirely ruined, which is the reason why the time is being unprofitably wasted.
Our people are where I once encamped our army, in the suburbs of Ghent waiting for the assembly said to be intended of all the garrisons to face the enemy and relieve the besieged. Meanwhile some Swiss and reiters will arrive, who are already at the place of muster, Attigny, on the frontier of Champagne. They passed close to the Marquis of Havrech's house, but missed catching him.
We have news contrary to what you wrote me as to the king's ambassador at Rome proposing aid to his brother. So far from it, it is rather feared that arms will be taken up in France, on account of the surprise, which failed, of Narbonne.
These moderate advices may be acceptable to you.—Antwerp, 7 May 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Ibid. XVI. 8.]
May 8. 16. Thomas Longston to Walsingham.
With your letters of April 28 I received yesterday certain others, which delivered to their hands to whom they were addressed.
Touching the money which is to be here reserved for the 'noated' interest, if you command me that service, I will endeavour the best I can to perform your pleasure in that behalf. But I suppose the ministry of the merchant therein does not so much quicken or move this people as an express messenger would do; for our 'doleances' and suits are here so continual and common that they are little regarded, though we have great right and reason for us,
Mr Gilpin is not yet departed on his journey for Germany; but so long as he is here he solicits for payment of the interest. And so far as I know, Reynold Copcott accepts the commission given him for the receipt and disposal of the money, whereof Mr Gilpin, as I take it, has advertised you, so that I need not further 'trowle' the same at this time.—Antwerp, 8 May 1582.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XVI. 9.]
May 8. 17. Gilpin to L. Tomson.
I have nothing other than was sent on Sunday last touching her Majesty's cause, and therefore found it needless for the time to trouble his honour with any answer to his letter received by this post; but meaning thoroughly to use the course thereby directed, will by the next 'enlarge' the proceeding and success of my endeavours. I am sorry to see this people have no more care to accomplish their promises, but by delay drive off the time, and to gain it incur greater harm otherwise by presuming too much 'of' her Majesty's goodness, without doubt or fear, as it seems, of displeasure. This week, God willing, I will deal roundly with them, and his honour shall hear their answer and my further opinion. 'The whitest' I pray you excuse my not writing to him this time. All the last letters enclosed are delivered according to their directions, and what answers were sent you shall receive herewith.
Other news than I gave in my last I have not, save certain 'speeches' that those of Meenen met with the powder and shot and other like provision sent from the Malcontents towards Oudenarde. Also it is credibly reported that they will depart thence and give over the siege, victuals falling out very scarce and dear.
Tomorrow the Princess will be buried in the great church.— Antwerp, 8 May 1582.
P.S.—Since finishing the above, I am given to understand that the Common Council of this town were yesterday dealt with for provision of monies for her Majesty's contentment, to which they required six days' respite to give their final resolution. So by the next I trust to write further.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. 10.]
May 5–8. 18. W. Herle to Walsingham.
My letter, dated 28th April, and meant to have been sent to you by the post, was stayed by me upon some occasion till now. This bearer will deliver it, and a book therewith. I beseech you, though it come late, you will not despise the humble meaning I have, to do you any service I can.
Since writing my last, the Prince of Orange has shown himself at the Castle Church, to the satisfaction of many, and discontentment of others; of whom some were so obstinate that they would not believe him to be living till their own sight had assured them. Yilliers preached that Wednesday, and public prayers of thanksgiving were held throughout the town for the Prince's health.
But this morning it has pleased God, about 4 o'clock, to lay another heavy cross upon the Prince, by calling out of the world the Princess his wife; a lady truly most bemoaned, leaving six little daughters behind her. This is like to work some sorrowful effect of melancholy in the Prince, though he bears it out with an incredible constancy, comforting others that come to condole with him. Yet his inward affection is known, et separatio amieorum clanculum mordet. The Princess of Epinoy is also in such 'weak terms' that there is small hope of recovery.
Haultepenne, called Earl of Barlemont, had an enterprise to have surprised Venlo on May day, which was prevented by advertisements from hence, and he frustrated of his long purpose—it had been a whole year 'in handling.' As truly, by the Prince of Orange's means, this side has great intelligence of the enemy's proceedings.
Captain 'Chattellett,' an Italian, who had a brave cornet of red coats, Italians and Spaniards,' under 'Verdugo's regiment, is come to 'Arnam' in Guelderland, presenting his service to Monsieur, having been illused by Verdugo. This offer being considered, 'Chattellett' is sent for hither to be interrogated. And 150 of Schenk 's reiters are come to the States' service in Guelderland.
Mr Norris with his regiment is commanded to come hither to the camp at Ghent; but he has so small contentment offered him for his past services, that he will not be able therewith to make his soldiers march, nor have them at command. Monsieur's meaning is to put a good garrison unto Duisborg and at the little 'scontz' that Mr Norris made, thereby to keep the Yssel at Bronkhorst; also to fortify Steenwyk with men and munition, and a little force withal beside 'Groyning,' and so the whole country is defended by these places against the enemy, and he forced to make head where Monsieur's camp is to be.
The States-General are dissolved today, and Monsieur was in the Chamber of Finances to 'receive such order' as they had agreed upon for the contributions mentioned in my former letters; Monsieur undertaking to give the States three months' credit always beforehand touching the contributions of the 300,000 guilders that are allowed for the entertainment of the army; by which respite the States will be able without incommodity to furnish that sum still, and the country will be greatly eased.
The States have agreed to shut up the traffic of victuals from Holland to Gravelines by safe-conduct, that the French king, beholding that those here have really and effectually accomplished on their side all conditions that were entrusted with him and his brother, they may thereupon directly urge him likewise to close the passages of Mézières and Calais; otherwise to charge him with his own contract, the copy of which I enclose.
Paul Buys, who departs tomorrow first into Zealand and then into Holland, with order to see the 'premisses' executed, commends himself to you, to the Lord Treasurer, and to the Earl of Leicester, 'assuring' that in all occasions that may import service or respect to the Queen of England, both he and the whole state of Holland and Zealand will sincerely frame themselves to be at her devotion. This he desired me particularly to signify, that she might understand the devotion that is borne her.
The States have decreed at once to send an 'ambassage,' with sufficient instructions, to the Earl of Embden and to the 'sea towns,' also to sundry princes of the Empire that are of most importance, to treat of a league defensive and offensive to be had with these provinces and with the sea parts thereof, with 'space' to comprise in it what confederates either side shall call in. The copy of the States' letters in this behalf to the sea-coasts, and to the other princes that are to be treated with, and the instructions they send to be negotiated upon, I shall have as soon as the Secretary of State has order to deliver the originals to those that are to be employed therein.
Don Antonio's affairs here for shipping proceed slowly and without aid of money, whereof there is small means or hope to be furnished. The travail hereunto is lost, for the owners and mariners will not be 'enforced' to the Isle of Tercera for their payment, but will be satisfied and assured before their departure, having seen that Don Antonio's credit is small in the Terceras; for of late two ships have arrived thence in Zealand, richly laden, yet without ware or credit that might appertain to serve Don Antonio's turn. There are three of his agents here, Souza,' Piedro d'Oro,' and 'Christovallett,' who surely have small skill of these humours, and less means to advance their own furtherance and credit; contented, as it seems, to be led on with strong imaginations against both reason and possibility. But in the meantime they spend largely, which is the fruit of all that is done. Besides, their master in France is as much abused 'of' the other side, 'the desirous belike to be consumed' (?). Such is his credulity, and in the end he shall carry neither ship nor aid thence, for Strozzi and Brissac are instruments of another edge, which concerns her Majesty and Rochelle to look well to.
The young prince, heir to the Duke of Tuscany, is dead, which is of no small consequence, in regard of the inheritance of that state; which will hardly be invested in the issue of this woman, whose hand they say has holpen this young gentleman onwards.
Colonel Stewart has had a tough work in hand with his regiment, which has complained of him. He is 'lastly' committed to his own lodging for beating one Spense, a captain of his, with a cudgel, who therefore framed a criminal action against him for the battery, as though it were in the nature of an 'assassinate,' but no way justly; for Stewart, accompanied only by his boy, met Spense well weaponed in the High Street, and there to his face used the cudgel, the other offering no defence but his heels. It is likely that Colonel Stewart will be discharged, and the Scots reduced that are here under Trayll and Johnston; which will hasten Stewart's journey into Scotland, after he has visited “Battemburgh.”
There is a great bruit here, grounded upon advertisements come to Monsieur, that England is in arms against the Queen, the Papists grown strong, the Queen perplexed with fear and difficulty, the Earls of Leicester and Sussex banded in great troops one against the other, both of them commanded to their houses, Mr Hatton and the Earl of Sussex become Spanish, yourself in fear to fall with the Earl of Leicester, great leagues made among the nobility and those particularly named. That the time is come when the Queen must know herself to be but a woman, and to have need of a head to govern things; whereupon Monsieur wishes himself there to aid her. Finally, that the passages and ports of England are shut up, guarded by officers, who search every man to the soles of their shoes for letters and papers of conspiracy and rebellion. Of all this the States have been informed by the French, 'yet even' sitting in Council; which, as I guess, is to alienate their minds and good opinions from England, and turn their course by sinister degrees another way. To confirm this bruit the more, we have had no post come over for seventeen days.
Monsieur asked me what I thought of the 'premisses.' I said plainly that they were toys of no credit or likelihood, and that our state was so composed, not of four forks (?) hut of good government and provision against all events, that it was impossible to have any dangerous conspiracy begun that had not forthwith the effect of an untimely birth, the like, in larger words, I told one of his Council, who threatened that we should have civil wars, and hereof the seeds were cast, and had taken root in the breasts of most resolute and noble persons, occasioned by three things: first, for the lack of a husband to the Queen according to her worthiness; next, for lack of establishing an heir apparent to succeed, which they determine to be only the Scottish king by his right; thirdly, the hatefulness of the Triumvirate of England, which secluded any other from authority and benefit by her Majesty, but themselves, which would occasion a free parliament before long, to debate freely of these points in the face of the whole realm.
These are the discourses and 'platts' that are at present most rife here, even with the best sort of men; which among other effects has damped the speech of the sum sent over to Monsieur. But the same had required more convenient and grateful turns, if 'allgates' their error were to be salved by suppression and indirect turns. English, the master that brought it over, and that entertained la Fougère in his cabin in the best 'degrees' he could, had, as our merchants here affirm, no greater reward than 6 French crowns.
The Bishop of Ross's genealogy, and his book in Latin of the Scottish title to the Crown of England, has been greatly asked for and sold at this Frankfort mart. This I dare affirm of my knowledge, for I provided myself some few 'books' of it, and had true advertisement thereof.—Antwerp, 5 May 1582.
P.S. 8 May 1582.—On Sunday letters were intercepted which came to the Prince of Parma from the Count of Mansfeldt, governor of Luxembourg, declaring that his soldiers, and 'namely' his son's new regiment, were in great disorder for want of pay, living in the mean season upon the country-man in all licentiousness, without discipline or obedience, and ready to commit more insolent part [sic] that might overthrow the king's service wholly in those parts, if present supply were not ministered. It was necessary now to have all their troops in readiness, for the Duke of Alençon's Switzers had marched forward to their rendezvous upon the 'Rossne' [qy. Rhone], where the reiters that were levied for his service also, under the leading of Count Ulrich of Mansfeldt, were to meet, to the number of 1,500 horse, passing by Metz, and then making themselves way by force through Luxembourg, which were easy, to the Prince of Parma's apparent danger, if those disorders were not first provided for.
On Saturday night, 15 cornets of the Prince of Parma's troops lying before Oudenarde were sent towards Namur. In like manner Verdugo's forces, a-foot and a-horseback, have marched out of Guelderland thitherwards, to join with the governor of Luxembourg in stopping the passage to the Switzers and the reiters, and to fight them before Monsieur can relieve them with other companies.
Oudenarde is not like to be battered at all, yet the enemy's camp is still before it. The ordnance that was shipped at Tournay for the battery is embarked again, and with it an infinite number of canvas bags that were made to fill up with earth or sand. Those of Oudenarde are now of that courage that they have written to Ghent that they are able to keep the place these six months against the enemy, being provided with all things necessary, and resolute withal to abide the siege. Wherewith once more I take my leave.
Baqueville is appointed, if some other occasion alter it not, to be resident in England in Marchaumont's place; of whom it was feared upon this bruit from England that he must be noted for a sower of division and therefore recalled in time. The post is arrived today with letters of very old dates.
On back: The Princess of Orange is to be buried tomorrow the 9th, at Our Lady's Church.
Add. Endd. 6 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVL 2.]
May 9. 19. Mendoza to Walsinghav.
The bearer of this has given me the answer which you gave him this day; and as the matter is of great importance, in order not to fall into the former inconvenience of saying that the messenger has made a mistake, and since her Majesty was unwilling to give me the answer from her own mouth, I beg you to send it me in writing that I may forward it to my master.—From my lodging, 9 May 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Spain I. 93.]
May 10. 20. François de Civille to Walsingham.
I was much rejoiced to hear by this bearer news of your good condition (disposition); I pray it may long be maintained. I explained to him the causes of my delay, which are based, as he will tell you, on my own indisposition. However, I hope to recover my health shortly, and am taking pains to do so, for the desire I have to kiss your hands and those of my good lord and master the Earl of Huntingdon, cui milturn debeo; in whose service I hold nothing so dear, whether goods or life, that I would not employ it with my whole heart. My most humble regards to your bien bonne grace.—Rouen, 10 May 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [France VII. 70.]
May 10. 21. Mendoza to the Earl of Sussex.
The day before yesterday I had an express courier from Spain, with advices from the king of an act of violence which English ships have committed in Spain, in the kingdom of Galicia. Kindly signify it to the Queen. God knows I am sorry that my luck allows me to do nothing but lay complaints before her every time that I kiss her hands.—London, 10 May 1582.
Add. Endd. in Walsingham's office. Span. ½ p. [Spain I. 94.]